Don Hadlock (1942 – 2020)

Don Hadlock (1942 – 2020)

Don Hadlock, Process Therapy Institute’s beloved founder, died on Thursday, January 23rd, in his home in Los Gatos at age 77.

Don touched many people professionally, personally and spiritually. We carry him around in our hearts (and ears!!) So many ask themselves in a time of need “What would Don do?”

After graduating from San Jose State University, with a degree in Social Science/Sociology and a Teaching Credential, Don spent the next 10 years as a classroom teacher at: Moreland School District, Castro Jr. High School in San Jose (1970 – 1973); Wedgewood School in San Jose (1974 – 1978); and The Learning Exchange in San Jose (1978 – 1979).

Don formulated what he would call the Process Model while working on his Masters degree in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling at the American Academy of Family Studies in Scotts Valley, which he received in 1980.

As Don later recalled, “Carol and I were traveling over the Santa Cruz summit discussing psychotherapy as we were returning from one of our graduate classes. All of a sudden, a window of awareness opened to me and I understood clearly the difference between content and process. As we continued our discussion, it became even clearer that content is what the client is saying and the process is what the client is doing as they were saying it. Two very different things. Everything grew from that clarity.”

After licensure in 1982, Don and Carol started PTI, a place where pre-licensed therapists could explore the concept of process that lays much deeper than the content. They both had a tremendous impact in the community training and educating therapists.

As the institute grew, PTI taught more people about the importance of focusing on process as a way of deepening therapy with clients. Within the institute Don and Carol continued to develop further concepts that enhanced the process model of work. Next, they continued to explore and discover how important it was to bring the process into the here-and-now moment, how to help clients connect more deeply to their process experience, and eventually how to transcend incomplete processes such as traumas, wounds, injuries, and rigid identities.

In addition to his work at PTI, Don also worked at several other agencies. He was a counselor at Redwood House (1978-1980), in Redwood City, where he provided intake, crisis counseling, and ongoing treatment for patients and their families in this residential treatment facility for people with acute psychotic disorders. At the Center for Human Communication (1980-1984), in Los Gatos, he was a therapist and supervisor. At the Giaretto Institute/Parents United (1980-1984) he was a family therapist, working with individuals, couples and families involved in Child Sexual Abuse and Spousal Abuse, facilitating groups for adult and juvenile perpetrators, groups for victims and groups for couples; and also supervised interns and trained Licensed therapists, MFCC interns and trainees behind one-way mirrors in the concepts and techniques of psychotherapy.

Don also taught in a number of graduate programs around the area: American Academy of Family Studies (1980-1981) in Scotts Valley, graduate course work in Gestalt Therapy and Adolescent Development.; the California Graduate School of Marriage and Family Therapy (1982), co-teaching a training course; the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (1987), teaching a Process Therapy Class to students; John F. Kennedy University (2000-2011) in San Jose, teaching classes to students enrolled in the Holistic Studies Masters Degree Program; and the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (2011)—now Sofia University.

He also gave many presentations and trainings in the concepts and techniques of therapy at such places as the SCV-CAMFT Conference, Bill Wilson Center, Suicide and Crisis, Santa Clara County Mental Health, the Almaden Valley Youth Counseling Center, Family Services of Palo Alto, and Stanford Hospital.